Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Crossing the great plains

I'm writing from a hotel in Montana as I continue my trek west. Here are a couple of thoughts from along the way.

The days of rain I dealt with in Canada came to an end in Minnesota and with the help of a high-powered fan I was able to dry everything in a hotel room.

In Grand Forks, North Dakota, I stopped at Bob's Cycle Service to change the oil in the Ducati. After telling Bob I needed an oil change, he directed me to the back of the store, handed me a drain pain and asked what tools I would need. If only all shops were like that!

After Grand Forks, I checked out a couple different camp site options before choosing the Fordville Dam Campground ("Best Dam Campground in Fordville" is not their moto). This great campground offered showers and views of the river and despite the weather being great and it being a Saturday night, was nearly deserted. That night the coyotes were howling. I sat at a campfire with the campground managers and joined them for breakfast in the morning. Best camping of the trip. Thanks LeRoy and Jo!

I visited the International Peace Gardens located Middleofnowhere, North Dakota. I'm not sure I would recommend it. I was disappointed at the $10 entrance fee. The Canadian side was little more than a 3 mile paved road in the woods. The un-announced surprise was that you don't need a passport to get to the gardens, but you need one to get out of them, since the entrance is between the U.S. and Canadian checkpoints. I had mine with me.

From there I went to Rugby, ND, the geographic center of North America. I can now say I have been left, right, and center. Top and bottom next, I guess.
From Deluth to Montana

There I met Arden who was traveling from Washington to Fargo to visit friends. Then he'll go home. Here is a picture of his rig:
From Deluth to Montana

Fields of sunflowers...
From Deluth to Montana

At times the road is scattered with little grasshoppers. These guys would be okay if they just sat still, but they don't.
From Online Edits

The hop to get away from you at the last second, often jumping directly in your path. As a result, the bumpers of the vehicles around here are plastered with grasshopper guts. Except I don't have bumpers. I catch them with my feet...
From Deluth to Montana

Rebar Bison
From Deluth to Montana

The road goes on forever. In the distance, the road goes over a small rise, and you go for 30 minutes waiting to see what is over that rise. And it looks like this every time...
From Deluth to Montana

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